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Posted December 7, 2013
all right but really didn't impress me all that much
It is 1918, and Hannah Gold, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, lives in Boston, MA, with her two sisters, Libbie and Eve, their aunt, Tanta Rose, and Rose’s roommate, the healer Vashti. Hannah’s parents are in Europe, her mother having gone to care for sick relatives in Russia and been detained by the Great War, and her then father fighting in the war. To make matters worse, Boston, as well as the whole nation and even the entire world for that matter, is hit with an influenza epidemic. A neighbor, Mr. Weitz who is the father of her friend Harry, dies. Tanta Rose also dies, and both Libbie and Eve come down sick too, so Vashti drives Hannah away to go to a relative in New York. However, the girl takes the wrong train and ends up in Brattleboro, VT. Hannah herself becomes ill with influenza but gradually recovers with the help of an elderly farmer of German heritage named Klaus Gerhard, and her visions of angels.
Hannah wants to go home to see what’s left of her family more than anything else but at first is too sick to make it and doesn’t have the money anyway. She is afraid that Libbie and Eve may have died as well. Will she ever make it back to Boston? And if she does, what will she find? There is not much good children’s historical fiction set in the time of World War I, so I was hoping that this would be a welcome addition. I liked Karen Hesse’s Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust set in the Great Depression. However, while A Time of Angels is all right, it really didn’t impress me all that much. It does have an interesting story line, and I am sure that the tale realistically captures the feelings of despair during that time. The ending is both happy and hopeful, but given its background the book is understandably permeated with a sense of sadness at all the sickness and dying so that it might be somewhat heavy for a lot of younger readers. I would recommend it more for thirteen and up. Also, the plot moves along rather slowly at times and might prove to be a little confusing to some children.
A few common euphemisms (blast, dang) occur, but no actual cursing or profanity. Some boy-girl activity takes place as Hannah is developing a relationship with the neighbor lad Harry Weitz and they kiss on a couple of occasions. When Tanta Rose takes a bath, there is a rather vivid, though not necessarily lewd, description of her naked body. Klaus makes “sumac smokes” for his friends. And the suicide of one of his neighbors in Brattleboro is recorded. All of these things are probably true to the historical setting, but some parents might wonder if they really need to be included in a children’s book. As to religion, several Jewish customs are mentioned, but when Eve says something about God, Libbie says, “Oh, pooh. You and your God.” And Hannah notes, “Vashti spoke this way of God, too.” Then, the reader will have to deal with the mystical element of Hannah’s interaction with the violet-eyed girl angel who guides and protects her. Is it real or just in her imagination? As I said before, this is not a bad book, but there is nothing here which makes me say, “Wow! This is great.”
Posted December 29, 2005
Like I said, its my favorite book!!! It made me cry, Karen Hesse is now one of my favorite authors! I recomend this book. It warms your heart, makes you cry, and it made me think about how grateful I am.I love this book, I read it so many times!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 25, 2004
This book was very heartwarming. I am weird cuz I like books that make me cry. This book was sad BUT ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ (and I have read a lot of books) My friend recomended it to me and now I am recomending it to you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2002
Posted May 27, 2001
Posted December 6, 2000
This book was great! I liked it a lot! it was very sad indeed but it was enjoyable. it takes place in my hometown, Boston Mass. I could just imagine some of the things Karen Hesse said in this book. It was an awesome book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 5, 2000
I read this book a couple of years ago, thinking it would be 'okay.' It just so happens that I enjoyed it. My mother read it and she favored it, too. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a heart-warming story that they won't want to put down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 15, 2000
Seperated from her family by a terrible flu epedemic, and with the disease herself, Hannah, a Jewish girl, must live with a German when she would distrust Germans most: WW1. When she arrives home things look grim. But the only reason she has survived these times, was the help of angels. Then at last things start looking up, to a happy end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2009
No text was provided for this review.